Inspiration · Knitting

November & Mittens


“Thank you adult mittens, for allowing me to give people the finger without them knowing it.” ~Jimmy Fallon

Welcome November!

The first day dawns cool and misty grey.  Sipping on a cup of hot coffee, I ponder over what I will create today, and settle on knitting.  First, not only because I have a custom order of mittens to make, but secondly because there’s nothing better to lift the spirits than to work with colourful yarns.  I especially love knitting mittens.  They are not only fairly quick to make up, but it’s fun and kind of challenging to come up with some bright and wild colour combinations. Who doesn’t love to wear fun and quirky handmade mittens with character?  I do! Also I know from first hand experience as a mother, that those colourful mittens are awfully hard to lose in the snow.  After an afternoon of sledding my kids rarely came home without both mittens.

Visit my website to view my mittens for sale.  Use this coupon code MITTENSWP10 to receive a 10% discount on any mitten purchase from now until November 30th.

Enjoy your day and greet November with something bright and colourful!


Salute to Coffee

I poured myself a cup of coffee, turned on my computer, and what should pop up in my mail, but an advert from Staples announcing it was International Coffee Day.

As far as I am concerned, everyday is coffee day.  I love my morning coffee, and it is rare that I start a day without it. I am like everyone else who grabs their cup of Joe for that hot kick start of caffeine, but I also savour warm childhood memories that come to me when I drink my coffee.

I fondly recall as a child, the rich aroma of my Grandma’s percolated coffee.  It filled the kitchen and smelled so good that I always begged and pleaded with her to let me have a cup.  She always made a show of resisting me at first, claiming that it would stunt my growth.  I didn’t care, I would vow to eat my vegetables or do whatever was required to grow as long as I could have a cup of coffee.  Eventually she would cave in and carefully prepare me a cup, more warm milk than coffee I’m sure, along with a healthy spoonful of sugar.  It was always the sweetest tasting elixir, and I was in coffee heaven!

You know with all the coffee shops, coffee varieties and ways to make it, I have never ever been able to find a cup of coffee that tasted as good as Grandma’s.  Maybe it wasn’t just the coffee, but the memories, and that magical time of my childhood spent in her kitchen.

I can’t blame the lack of my height on my love of coffee….when you are child everyone is tall and as an adult of five foot, two and a half inches tall, I’m still kind of short, but I can boast of being one of the tallest in the family!

A great way to make coffee is to use a French Press Coffee Maker, and I have created a cozy that is made using a double layer cotton quilt batting for insulation to keep your pot warm, and using a variety of fashion print cotton fabrics, your coffee pot can match your character or your kitchen decor.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visit my website Paper, Purls & Stitches to view and shop the more than twenty different fabric choices I have currently available.


Remnants of the Day

I have a bin that I toss all my fabric remnants into.  Not all scraps go into this bin, the larger pieces I take the time to press, fold and store on my work shelf, but a large number get tossed in to be dealt with another day.

The next thing I know, another day has arrived and I am forced to deal with an avalanche of fabric bits and pieces.003  This mound of remnants lies in a big heap atop my dining room table, covering its entire surface.  I’ve been working my way through it for more than a week now.

These remnants are like a treasure trove to me.  It’s fun to discover bits and pieces of fabrics I have fond memories of working with and I feel invigorated by the challenge of coming up with creative ways to make use of them.  So far I have made up little wristlets that I am selling at my Red Leaf Stitch Craft 004shop and mug mats at my Tea Cozy Cupboard shop.  As I make my way through this mountain of fabric I am excited by all the ideas I am coming up with, my only stumbling block is finding the time to make them and deal with the mess I have.  Truly if I was really smart, I would make myself deal with the scraps as they come up, but where would be the fun of discovery in a nice tidy stack of cloth?  A part of me feels envy when I view photos of neat and organized work rooms.  I get how much more functional they are to work in, but honestly I am not one of those type of people that can work that way.  If I was, my work room would look as neat and as tidy as day when I first moved into it.  However, my excuse for working in a mess is clearly explained on a sign I have posted on the wall above my sewing desk that reads, ‘A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind’.  At the moment I would describe my working space more like chaos than a mess, but the state of my workspace is a story for another day.

Whether it’s a remnant of fabric, a remnant of the day or of your memory, one should take the time to see if a treasure can be created from or found in their midst.



Pearls of wisdom

After I opened my first shop on Etsy for quite a while I found myself stumbling around trying to get the hang of things.  I visited lots of shops, returning the favor to ones who had stopped in at mine, but mostly just wandering around like a lost soul it seemed.  Then one day I received an invitation to join a team.  Now I was not at all familiar with teams, but I loved the name of this one, ‘The A4 Team”, and Marg the team captain was very kind and encouraging, so how could I not accept this invitation.

The A4 Team is heavily focused on reciprocal promotion, and it works!  Marg, and her leaders are kind, patient and encouraging, fostering an excellent team spirit for the group, and if you follow their advice, participate in the promotional threads you cannot be anything but great.

Two of my shops now have more than a thousand followers each, and my third and latest shop has just hit the 500 mark.  If you are going to do any kind of business online, you will have to work your fingers off, but if you have a shop on Etsy, consider joining a team like the A4 Team to help you with your success.  The friends you make and pearls of wisdom you gather will add to your riches.

The fresh water pearl necklace and bracelet are my recent vintage jewelry purchase from Marg’s Etsy shop, ‘Margs Mostly Vintage‘.  I’m a big fan of her shop, most especially her vintage brooches, but when I saw this pearl set, I knew I just had to have it. Marg’s shop has more than just jewelry, so if your a fan of vintage I encourage you to check it out.

The jewelry box in the photo is one I made from a small cardboard box.  It’s amazing what you can do with some hot glue, fabric, trim and embellishments, so before you toss that box into the recycling how about transforming it…there are so many possibilities!


In search of horizons

Where we live, here in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, we enjoy fairly mild winters compared to most places in Canada.  But the pay off for that is many cloudy gray days.  Today, the clouds are laying low, a gray fuzzy blanket that totally obscures the mountains making it appear we live on flat land, only with no horizon in sight.

This morning, in search of some inspiration and enlightenment, I came across this photo I took last month when days like this one drive us out to seek sunshine.  Just looking this picture showing a vista that I know is there, but for the moment is only playing hide and seek with the clouds makes me feel a little lighter in the heart and sparks my energy.

I truly feel for the folks back east who are experiencing all kinds of horrible winter weather.  I can just imagine how depressing it must be to feel like it will never end.  Today I will try to ignore the lack of sunshine, be thankful that my snow shovel is stored away for the season, and remind myself that spring is just on the horizon.